In August, exports contracted 5.8% over the same month last year. Albeit still a contraction, the decline represents an improvement over both the 8.1% drop seen in July and market expectations that had exports decreasing 7.5%. Simultaneously, imports fell 5.4% in August, contrasting the 2.1% rise tallied in the previous month. In fact, the August reading marked the largest drop recorded since December 2009. As a result, the trade balance registered a deficit of JPY 754 billion (USD 9.6 billion), which virtually mirrored the JPY 777 billion shortfall recorded in the same month last year. That said, the print overshot market expectations of a JPY 829 billion deficit. Exports remain dampened by lower shipments to the European Union and China, amid cooling global demand. On the other hand, purchases of mineral fuels recorded their first annual drop since December 2009, as Japan restarted two nuclear power plants in July. Meanwhile, on 14 September, the government announced its intention to abandon nuclear power by the 2030's.
Japan Trade Balance
External sector remains weak in August
September 20, 2012
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Japan Economic News
October 12, 2016
Core machinery orders (a leading indicator of capital spending over a three- to six-month period) declined for the first time in three months in August.
October 4, 2016
Consumer sentiment rose from August’s 42.0 to 43.0 in September.
October 3, 2016
According to the Bank of Japan’s quarterly TANKAN business survey, sentiment among large manufacturers was stable at 6 in Q3.
September 30, 2016
In August, the core consumer price index was flat compared to the previous month, which was above the 0.2% decline in July.
September 30, 2016
In August, industrial production expanded 1.5% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, which contrasted July’s 0.4% decrease (previously reported: 0.0% month-on-month).